Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Patel Lord Patel Crossbench 3:30 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, I do not know whether the Bill is adequate for its intention. I did not think for one minute that the noble Lord, Lord Warner, was trying to insert a Bill into a Bill; he is trying merely to highlight the need for some commitment to social care in a Bill that has "health and social care" in its Title but not much about social care in it. Successive Governments have talked about integrated health and social care but have failed to achieve it. For the first time, we have a Bill with the Title "Health and Social Care", but with no mention at all of social care. To indicate some commitment to its delivery, if not now then at a later stage, would have been adequate. Delivering integrated health and social care should have the same commitment to it as delivering improved waiting times for acute care.

We tried to get commissioning as a way of integrating health and social care. It would have been a better way forward, but unfortunately that amendment was narrowly defeated. This amendment asks only that the Government commit to making continuous efforts to reduce barriers to integrated health and social care. I do not think that it is inadequate or that it inserts a new Bill into the Bill.